Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are leaving Bioware
Company co-founders move on to new things
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 13:09
At an internal meeting last Tuesday, it was announced that Bioware co-founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, a.k.a. “The Doctors,” would be leaving the company and the video game industry in general. This was later confirmed in a blog post containing explanatory comments from both Zeschuk and Muzyka.
This announcement came almost immediately after the announcement of a new Bioware game -- that game being “Dragon Age 3: Inquisition,” which will be running on DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine -- and was followed by teases from Bioware Edmonton and Montreal general manager Aaron Flynn concerning the future of Bioware’s flagship “Mass Effect” franchise.
Bioware was founded by Muzyka, Zeschuk and Augustine Yip -- then newly graduated medical doctors -- in February of 1995. Yip left the company in 1997 to return to medicine, but the remaining two co-founders carried on with the company long enough to make it one of the premier role-playing game developers in the industry. The company is responsible for a slew of classics including “Baldur’s Gate,” “Neverwinter Nights,” “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic,” “Dragon Age” and of course, the “Mass Effect” trilogy. Bioware was also responsible for lesser-known titles such as “Jade Empire” and “MDK2.”
In 2007, the major video game publisher Electronic Arts purchased Bioware. The acquisition was met with uncertainty and even outright anger by some fans, which worried that the larger company would stifle Bioware’s creativity. Since then, the company has been met with more and more controversy including a lukewarm response to the company’s first MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massive fan campaign to change the ending of Mass Effect 3 and the renaming of an unrelated studio to take advantage of the Bioware brand.
In the blog post announcing the duo’s departure, Muzyka seemed optimistic about the future, even if it’s not entirely clear what that future might entail.
“I now desire to take on a brand new entrepreneurial challenge,” Muzyka said. “I believe strongly in the power of free enterprise to enable sustainable change, so my next ‘chapter’ will likely focus on an entirely new industry, something exciting, different and frankly downright scary -- investing in and mentoring new entrepreneurs, and more specifically, the field of social/impact investing.”
Zeschuk’s statement was considerably more downtrodden.
“This decision isn’t without significant pain and regret, but it’s also something I know I need to do, for myself and my family,” Zeschuk said. “I’ve reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation. For the people I have had the privilege of working with, however, my passion burns as brightly as it did the day we started.”
He did leave room for the possibility of returning to the games industry at some point, but for now he has other plans. Specifically, Zeschuk plans to host a web series interviewing beer brewers and showcasing their wares.
“If not, I’ll have drunk a lot of tasty beers and may be back in games or even something else completely different,” he said. “Ultimately time will tell.”
This is definitely sad news for the video game industry, as we’ve lost two of the minds responsible for some of the greatest games in history. They’re influence on the future of games will be felt for years to come, and their involvement will be sorely missed.